Information

Scottish greenhouse gas emissions annual target report: 2017

This report, required under the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009, provides detail on Scotland's annual climate change emissions reduction targets.


Part 4 – Scottish electricity consumption and generation

Requirements of the Act

Section 34 of the Act requires that the report must:

  • state the amount of Scottish gross electricity consumption for the target year (subsection (4)(a)).
  • state the amount of Scottish electricity generation for the target year (subsection (4)(b)).
  • state the average greenhouse gas emissions per megawatt hour of electricity generated in Scotland in the target year (subsection (4)(c)).
  • state the average greenhouse gas emissions per megawatt hour, and the estimated lifetime cumulative emissions, of any new electricity generation capacity greater than 50 megawatts approved in Scotland in the target year (subsection (4)(d)).

This part of the report also fulfills the requirements of Section 38 of the Act. This requires a report in respect of each year in the period 2010-2050 that, in so far as reasonably practicable, sets out the impact on net Scottish emissions during that year resulting from the exercise by the Scottish Ministers of the functions conferred on them by virtue of any enactment relating to electricity generation.

The amount of Scottish gross electricity consumption

In 2017, gross electricity consumption in Scotland was 30,590 GWh[28].

The amount of Scottish electricity generation

In 2017, Scottish electricity generation was 48,678 GWh[29]

The average greenhouse gas emissions per megawatt hour of electricity generated in Scotland

In 2017, the average greenhouse gas emissions per megawatt hour of electricity generated is 24gCO2e / kWh.

Note: There are various ways of estimating the average greenhouse gas emissions per megawatt hour of electricity generated in Scotland. In reports prior to the 2014 annual target report (published in October 2016), this calculation used data from the Scottish Pollutant Release Inventory (SPRI) which is collated by SEPA. From the 2014 annual target report onwards, the Scottish greenhouse gas inventory is used for this calculation as it is the basis upon which Scotland's headline greenhouse gas statistics are estimated, and as such is consistent with other emissions data contained within this report. The methods used to compile the greenhouse gas inventory are consistent with international guidance on national inventory reporting from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The average greenhouse gas emissions per kilowatt hour of electricity generated in Scotland is calculated using the following formula:

Total emissions from Electricity Generation are obtained from the Energy Supply Sector ("Public Electricity & Heat Production" subsector) of the Scottish Greenhouse Gas Inventory 1990-2017. The total output figure is taken from the amount of Scottish electricity generation for the target year.

Table 12 shows the emissions intensity of electricity generated in Scotland using data from the Scottish greenhouse gas inventory for the years 2010 to 2017.

Table 12. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Intensity of Electricity Generated in Scotland (gCO2e/kWh), 2010 to 2017
Year Total Emissions (MtCO2e) Total Output (GWh)[30] Emissions Intensity (gCO2e/kWh)
2010 15.85 49,532 320
2011 12.13 50,870 238
2012 12.83 50,333 255
2013 11.45 53,024 216
2014 9.82 50,042 196
2015 7.75 51,336 151
2016 2.51 45,771 55
2017 1.17 48,678 24

Estimated lifetime cumulative emissions of new electricity generation capacity greater than 50MW approved in 2017

Due to longer-term uncertainties in the electricity market it is not possible to estimate lifetime cumulative emissions of new electricity generation capacity.

Emissions impacts are assessed at a GB level, reflecting the fact that the system is operated as a GB wide wholesale electricity market. Our approach is therefore to set out what the impact from any new electricity generation capacity consented by Scottish Ministers under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 in the "target year"has on overall GB system wide carbon emissions. The approach includes the impact of all new electricity generation capacity irrespective of scale, which may include extensions to existing installations that take the cumulative capacity over 50MW, and assumes that all consented plants become operational prior to 2023[31]. The results specify the estimated impact on emissions in that year.

In 2017, nine projects in Scotland were consented by Scottish Ministers after consideration under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989. All of these related to onshore wind projects (totalling 621 MW). Results of modelling suggest that these consented projects, should they become operational, could reduce GB system wide carbon emissions by an estimated 0.62 MtCO2 in the year 2023.

Emissions impacts of these projects are measurable at a GB level, as this is the level at which decisions from the model are made. It should be noted that Scottish Ministers decision to consent does not mean that the projects will become operational. This is subject to commercial and market forces at the individual company level.

Impact on net Scottish emissions resulting from exercise of electricity generation related functions

Section 38 of the Act requires a report on the impact on emissions resulting from the exercise of electricity generation related functions. The report must, in so far as reasonably practicable, set out the impact on net Scottish emissions during that year resulting from the exercise by Scottish Ministers of the functions conferred on them by virtue of any enactment relating to electricity generation.

In 2017, nine projects in Scotland were consented after consideration under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989, with a further three projects licensed by Marine Scotland (in addition to those licensed under section 36). Of these additional projects one was offshore wind (50 MW) and two were tidal (3.4 MW).

The modelling results suggest that the consented projects, should they become operational, could reduce GB system wide carbon emissions by an estimated 0.71 MtCO2 in the year 2023.

Other information

Under Section 34(9) of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009, this report may contain such other information as the Scottish Ministers consider appropriate and, in particular, may state the amount of Scottish electricity generation from each source for the target year.

Table 13 below shows Scottish electricity generation by fuel for 2017 from both major power producers and other generators.

Table 13. Generation of electricity by fuel in Scotland (GWh)[32]
Coal 0
Oil 663
Gas 4,333
Nuclear 17,827
Thermal renewables 2,453
Other thermal 79
Hydro natural flow 5,356
Hydro Pumped Storage 573
Non thermal renewables 17,357
Non-biodegradable wastes 37
Total 48,678

Contact

Email: climate.change@gov.scot

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